Black Russian Terrier is a breed developed in the former Soviet Union as a working dog for military and police work. Their appearance is powerful with a black, wavy coat and a muscular build. They are dogs noted for their high intelligence and loyalty.
Dogs of the breed are medium to large in size, with an athletic build. The weight ranges between 36 and 59 kilograms, while the height varies between 69 and 76 centimeters in males and between 66 and 74 centimeters in females. The life expectancy of this breed is 10 to 12 years. They belong to Group 2 of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which groups Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molosser, mountain type dogs and Swiss Cattle Dogs.
Breed history in brief
The breed was developed in the former Soviet Union, between the 1940s and 1950s, with the aim of creating a large, versatile breed that was capable of performing various tasks such as guarding, patrolling and explosive detection. The Black Russian Terrier emerged from the crossbreeding of breeds such as the Giant Schnauzer, Airedale Terrier, Rottweiler and Newfoundland. The main ancestor is believed to be the Giant Schnauzer.
During the 1960s and 1970s the breed was exported to other countries, but it was not until the 1990s that it gained recognition in the United States and other Western countries. Currently, it is a popular breed in several countries where it continues to serve as a police or military dog, or as a family pet.
The Black Russian Terrier breed has a strong and athletic build, with a slightly long and compact body. The head is large and long, with medium-sized, oval, wide-set, dark eyes. The ears are triangular in shape, of medium size and pendant. In the native country of the breed the tail is usually docked. When the dog is in motion, the shape of the tail resembles that of a squirrel.
The breed's coat is double, the outer coat is thick and slightly wavy, while the undercoat is smooth, short and dense. The texture is rough and the coloring is black, although in some cases it may include a minimal amount of gray hairs intermingled.
Intelligence, loyalty and a protective attitude are typical qualities of the Black Russian Terrier breed. In addition, they are self-confident dogs, reserved or aloof with strangers and friendly with their owners. They do not show aggression unless they detect a possible threat to their family. However, in order to avoid any aggressive behavior, proper socialization and training is recommended from puppyhood.
Common health problems
The Black Russian Terrier is a robust and healthy breed, however, it is predisposed to disorders or diseases such as osteochondritis dissecans, polyradiculoneuritis, osteochondrosis, ectropion, entropion, hemophilia B, hip dysplasia and urolithiasis.
In addition to the above disorders, the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) recommends an ocular and cardiac screening examination, as well as a test for the evaluation of juvenile laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy.
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